Books by Ellen Olson-Brown

OOH LA LA POLKA-DOT BOOTS by Ellen Olson-Brown
Released: March 9, 2010

Olson-Brown's joyful jubilee is a tribute to polka-dot footwear. Jaunty verses utilize an assortment of adjectives to describe types of clothing from hats to pants and everything in between. Each two-page spread features a quartet of barefoot children attired in the finery detailed by the accompanying text ("Ugly pants / Pretty pants / Country pants / City pants," for instance). A flap at the bottom third of the page turns to reveal the concluding refrain (in this case, "A rainbow of polka-dot boots!") and the children's tooties now shod in an array of polka-dotted boots. The color-saturated pages depict children in a bevy of inventive outfits. The simplicity and predictability of the text readily lends itself to jolly read-aloud sessions. The bright primary colors of Engel's acrylic-and-digital collage illustrations are ideally suited for the preschool audience. The novelty of "dressing" the characters in fanciful galoshes adds to the allure. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
BAKE YOU A PIE by Ellen Olson-Brown
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Peppy paeans to pie . . . with pix! A CD includes a cute, punny song about pie, as well as an instrumental version (suitable, presumably for karaoke) and a solo acoustic version. The lyrics, printed on page four of the book along with the simple tune, constitute the text, each verse repeated on a two-page spread with accompanying illustration. Ebbeler has fashioned vibrant pictures for each, in acrylic paint and black pencil, and full of cheeky humor. The "eggplant parmesan pie" verse, for example, features a wailing opera diva in a gown the color and shape of the purple vegetable she holds. A tiny crying clown holds onto her long cape, using it as a handkerchief. There are ten pies in all, and each flavor matches a musical genre ("Jazz" has a jelly jam pie and "Blues" Mississippi mud). It barely stands alone without the CD, but it's bright and catchy. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
HUSH LITTLE DIGGER by Ellen Olson-Brown
Released: May 1, 2006

Olson-Brown borrows the tune of "Hush Little Baby" and adapts it for the benefit of the automotive-obsessed youngster. Engines rumble to life with, "Hush little digger, don't say a word, / Papa's gonna scoop you a pile of dirt. / And if that dirt starts to overflow, / Papa's gonna find you a red backhoe." There are occasions throughout where the tempo sputters a bit with jittery rhymes or an overabundance of syllables. Still, the ride is made worthy by White's pictures with cartoon vibrancy and nimble, witty tidbits. While father, with his slick, black pompadour, and son frolic in and out of various heavy machinery, the illustrations are popping with details to attract the fancy of youngsters, like ogle-eyed worms, bountiful balls, a dump truck brimming with chickens and various funky creatures. Not as cleverly crafted as Daniel Kirk's Hush Little Alien (1999), but for those children with a vehicle mania, this illustrated lullaby will drive away the blues. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >